The Financial Side of a Marriage

When many people think of marriage, they think of the wedding, of two people walking down the aisle and living happily ever after. They may also think of children, as the couple moves through life, creating a home, dealing with school, and all of the other details of family life.

What many people may not think about when thinking about marriage is the financial aspect of the relationship. Whether both spouses work, or one remains home and provides child care, there is much economic synergy that occurs in a marriage.

But when you decide it is time for a divorce, you have to dismantle many of those economic efficiencies. You have to create two households, and if you have children, you have to determine their custody arrangements and how that will affect each party's finances.

If you do not have a separate bank account, you need one immediately. You need to be able to fund many of your day-to-day expenses, and you need to protect yourself from your partner wasting assets or locking you out of access to your finances.

You also need to be aware of your credit situation as a couple and your own. During a marriage, it is always a good idea to maintain your own independent, financial identity, to prevent the catastrophe of your partner walking away, out of the blue, with all of the resources from the marriage.

In addition to your attorney, you should evaluate if you need other professional assistance during the divorce. Your attorney is not your therapist, if you need to work through emotional issues, it is best to hire the proper professional to assist. If your financial circumstance is particularly complex, you may need a financial planner or a forensic accountant to deal with that complexity.